Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 9 - Fear and Intimidation

Nehemiah 6: 1 – 9

Have you ever heard the expression, “frozen with fear?” Have you ever lived that expression? I can look in my past and see times where I accomplished absolutely nothing as a direct result of fear. Fear turned into inactivity. I have seen ministries remain stagnate because of a fear of how people may react; so the leaders don’t do anything. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:25, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” Basically, if we focus on our fears rather than God, we will fall into a trap…possibly a trap of doing nothing. Nothing doesn’t sound so bad, except that God always requires action from us.

In Nehemiah 6, we see that Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem tried a new approach with Nehemiah. They tried to lure him away from the building project so they could harm him. Nehemiah saw through their scheming and continued to send the message back to them saying he was too busy. In verses 6 and 7, we see that they made up some lies to throw fear into Nehemiah. In fact, verse 9 says, “They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.’” They were trying to use fear and intimidation to make Nehemiah unable to work.

What was Nehemiah’s response? He prayed for strength! I do find it interesting that at this moment, his prayer wasn’t that God would take care of his enemies; it was for strength to complete the project. Sometimes fear can make us lose focus on what God is calling us to do, and we instead focus on our obstacles and fears. I don’t think it is wrong to ask God to remove the obstacles, but I think Nehemiah set a wonderful example of praying for strength to complete the job set before him. Fear can sap our strength, and we need to ask God to provide us the strength we need when we are in fearful situations.

Are you loosing strength in response to fear? Have you called upon God to provide the strength needed to complete a project?

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